SKS welcomed students back this fall with the addition of a new STEM Center! STEM is an exciting expansion to the existing technology curriculum that supports our commitment to academic excellence. But what is STEM education and why is it important?

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where academic concepts are coupled with hands-on learning to help students make connections between the classroom and the world around them. STEM education will prepare the next generation of innovators and leaders by developing important skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, leadership, and perseverance—skills that are becoming increasingly important for success in the modern workforce and in all aspects of life.

To bring the STEM program to life, Ms. Shurden Garrett was hired to fill the new role of STEM teacher. Her focus is on interdisciplinary teaching and connecting concepts across the school curriculum using a STEM approach. Ms. Garrett works closely with grade level teachers to understand the concepts that are being taught in the classroom, then incorporates those concepts into activities and challenges in the STEM Center.

To create a space that allows for more project-based and technology-intensive lessons, the second-floor classroom previously utilized as an art room was converted to the new STEM Center. Instead of desks, worktables serve as creative spaces for students to collaborate and work as teams, an important component of many STEM activities. The center is equipped with laptops, iPads, Chromebooks, an interactive white board, virtual reality viewers, coding robots, 3D printers, and a variety of other building and STEM materials.

Students in kindergarten through eighth grade will join Ms. Garrett in the STEM Center each week to engage in hands-on, age-appropriate activities that reinforce concepts being taught in the classroom. They will tackle challenges based on real-world problems using the five-step engineering design process. Students will continue to learn about digital citizenship and how to use technology responsibly to facilitate their learning.

Now that the STEM Center is in full swing, what is the future of STEM at SKS?

“STEM is here to stay!” said Principal Bud Tosti. “It is not a current educational fad or trend. We recognize its importance as a part of student learning and preparing students for their future.”

SKS will continue its investment in STEM technology and resources, through a grant received from the Uncommon Individual Foundation (

“This is exciting news for us as a school,” said Mr. Tosti. “We are very excited about committing to a STEM Center and believe Ms. Garrett is a great fit for SKS.”

Did You Know?
You can keep up with all of the fun and excitement happening in the STEM Center with Ms. Garrett’s weekly newsletter by clicking here. Be sure to check out the “Try This at Home” section for ideas to engage your child in STEM activities at home! 


The STEM Center has been buzzing with energy and excitement as students put their creative thinking and problem solving skills to the test! Let’s take a look at some of the fun and engaging activities that are taking place in the STEM Center!

First Grade Saints Came Marching In

In celebration of All Saints’ Day, first graders honored the saints with an SKS tradition–Saints Day. Every year, first graders have the opportunity to learn more about a saint that is meaningful to them and present their saint to classmates. This year was no different. Saints Day consists of a presentation for families in church during which first graders dress as their chosen saint, sing meaningful songs, and read highlights for each of the saints represented. “I liked learning about all of the saints and singing songs. I also liked seeing my parents and grandparents in church for our presentation,” recalled Jack Botzler. First graders and their families learned that saints were people who let the light of Christ shine through them. First-grader Charlotte Groseclose noted, “St. Theresa of the Little Flower lived a simple life and did everything with love for Jesus.” Charlie McLaughlin also explained, “I liked learning about St. Charles Borromeo because we have the same name. I also liked learning that he founded seminaries.” Participants were reminded to draw strength from the lives of saints and to pray to them for intercession in times of need.

Trunk-or-Treat Night and Halloween-a-thon Lifted Our Spirits!

On Thursday, October 28, the Home and School Board hosted its first Trunk-or-Treat event just in time for Halloween, offering students a chance to run wild in the SKS parking, collecting treats from spooktacular trunks offering games and candy galore. Thank you to all of the families that made this night possible! From the creative trunks to the candy donations and amazing costumes, everyone had a spirited time! The next day students had a second chance to wear their costumes to school for our annual Halloween-a-thon.

Smiles for the 7th Grade at SKS

This fall, our seventh grade participated in a service project benefitting Ryan’s Case for Smiles. Ryan’s Case for Smiles is a non-profit dedicated to bringing joy to children while they undergo treatment for cancer and other life-changing illnesses. The company was founded with a simple goal: to provide cheerful pillowcases and encouragement to children while they are in the hospital undergoing treatment. This charity has particular meaning at SKS in many ways.

Years ago, seventh grade teacher Jennifer Loftus’ neighbor (who was one of the main fundraising leaders for Ryan’s Case for Smiles), approached Mrs. Loftus about working with schools. Mrs. Loftus was thrilled with the opportunity because the curriculum she teaches includes a novel Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie in which a 13-year-old boy’s brother is diagnosed with leukemia. “I had wanted to couple the novel with a service project but didn’t know where to turn, and it came directly to us,” explained Mrs. Loftus.

After completing Drums as required summer reading this year and discussing it in class, the seventh grade began working on their service project. The class assembled and marketed themed raffle baskets to the school community. Additionally, they promoted and sold popsicles at recess. Overall, nearly 600 popsicles and 4,000 raffle tickets were sold. Collectively, the class raised a staggering $5,142 for such a great cause in a time of need. “It was great working with the entire class for such an important cause,” said seventh-grader Blair Murray.

The project culminated with Ryan’s Case for Smiles coming to SKS with sewing machines and fun fabric for our seventh grade to assist in making pillowcases for the cause. Every member of the class sewed a pillowcase for a child. “I enjoyed sewing the pillowcases. It was fun and I learned how to sew,” Nora Wieser exclaimed. The class additionally assembled Coping Boxes containing toys which are given to siblings of hospitalized children. Seventh-grader Alex Wieser added, “The project was meaningful because we were able to help kids in the hospital.”

The Ryan’s Case for Smiles project is special to SKS in many ways. In particular, a former SKS student, Jack Barausky, was diagnosed with leukemia in kindergarten. He received many of these pillowcases while he was hospitalized for treatment. Jack thankfully graduated a few years ago in the epitome of good health. His mother, Tracy Barausky, gratefully came to SKS to share their story with the seventh grade. Mrs. Barausky shared many of the pillowcases with the class, and their story and the service project overall made a profound impact on the students. Seventh-grader Abby Sims explained, “It was really eye-opening to see what kids our age have to go through every day. I loved sewing pillowcases and helping kids going through a rough time.” It is always amazing to see our students at SKS embracing the opportunity to give back to the community in a meaningful way.


SKS Varsity Field Hockey: Region 32 Champions

The SKS varsity field hockey team, led by captains Emma Grant, Grace VanderWaag and Maura Seeger, were undefeated in the regular season, with a record of 9-0-1. They defeated St. Denis to win the Region 32 Championship. With playoff wins over St. Eleanor and Saints Colman-John Neumann School, the team advanced to the Archdiocesan Championship game, where they lost in double overtime to St. Helena after coming back from a score of 2-0 at halftime.

Coaches Susan Grant and Kate Marinello are proud of the team and their accomplishments.

“Even with the loss at the end, they played their hearts out and showed their determination coming back from behind. They gave it their all and then some,” said Marinello.

The team also came in second place in the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur tournament.

Congratulations to the team and coaches on a great season!

Homecoming 2021

SKS celebrated CYO athletics at the school’s first homecoming event, which was held on October 9 at Bo Connor Park in Radnor. Many students and families came out to cheer on the football teams and show their school spirit! The day of fun included food trucks, face painting, and even a special guest appearance by the Villanova Wildcat. Students received a dress down pass for attending the event and showing their Wildcat pride! Thank you to SKS CYO Sports for sponsoring the event and to the students and families who attended and made the event a success! We hope it becomes a new tradition at SKS!

Sean Burman

I have been teaching at SKS since September 2020, and I love the tight-knit community. I chose to work at SKS because I am passionate about Catholic education. My favorite saint is Saint Cecilia. She is the patron saint of music and musicians. I pray to St. Cecilia before every performance that I participate in.

High School: Upper Moreland High School

College: Temple University—Go Owls!

Started at SKS: September 2020

What is an interesting fact about you? I love to read—my favorite author is James Patterson. I am working my way through the Detective Michael Bennett series and am excited to read a few of the titles that he is releasing towards the end of the year!

What is your favorite food? I love soup this time of year. I made butternut squash soup recently—it was delicious!

What is the last gift you gave someone? An indoor herb garden

What is your fondest memory at SKS? My fondest memory at SKS was recording the Tableau and K-4 Christmas Concert last school year. It was a challenging project, but it was fun to recreate an important SKS tradition. I was impressed by how well our students came together to serve the community.

What is your favorite part about teaching at SKS? I love the strong sense of community and that our students are curious, motivated and engaged in learning.

Why did you become a music teacher? I’m passionate about music—singing in particular. Singing lifts our mood. It teaches us to collaborate with and listen to others. I became a music teacher to inspire students.

Who is your favorite musician? Bobby McFerrin

What is your favorite song? That’s a tough one… there are so many to choose from. I’ve been on a big country kick recently. “My Church” by Maren Morris is standing out as a favorite right now.

What is the best concert you have ever been to? I saw Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden around Christmas time in 2017. It was amazing.

Molly Rooney

I graduated from St. Katharine of Siena School in 2006 and attended Sacred Heart Academy for high school. I credit my formative years at St. Katharine, where I learned the importance of faith, leadership and service, as the reason I was able to become so involved at Sacred Heart.

At SHA, I was on the student council for four years and became the student body president my senior year. I was also captain of the golf team and played basketball and lacrosse. I traveled to West Virginia my junior and senior years to participate in Habitat for Humanity projects.

Following high school, I attended the University of South Carolina and double majored in marketing and management. Go Gamecocks! Choosing to go to USC was a difficult decision due to its size and the campus being far from home. I loved the individualized education and family feel of SKS and SHA. Because of my experience at these schools, I had the confidence to attend USC and ultimately to make connections to be successful there.

Following graduation, I moved to New York City and worked in market research. After two years of sitting behind a desk, I realized that I wanted to do more to help people and went back to school to get my bachelor’s degree in nursing at NYU. I am currently a nurse on the oncology floor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania! I absolutely love my job and get to work with amazing patients and coworkers! I plan to go back to school in the spring to pursue a nurse practitioner degree. My sister Quinn is a first grade teacher at St. Katharine, and I love to hear that so many of the traditions, like Halloween-a-thon and the Saints Presentation, that made my time at St. Katharine so special, continue on!

Fall Fete: SKS Parent Social

In October, our school parents, faculty, and staff were able to gather at Waynesborough Country Club for a Fall Social. A big THANK YOU to the chairs of the event, Amy Parella and Danielle Pachioli. A fun time was had by all and it was great to gather together again!

Field trips Are Back!